Religion Satellite imagery shows China has destroyed 16,000 mosques in Xinjiang 2020-09-25 Almost a third of major Islamic sacred sites in Xinjiang -- including shrines, cemeteries and pilgrimage routes -- have been razed, according to an extensive investigative report. Security 2020-09-25 Religious scholars, tribal elders in Kunduz demand Taliban ceasefire 'Until the fighting stops, peace can't be achieved,' one tribal leader said. Security 2020-09-24 Taliban execute 28 surrendered police officers in Uruzgan, officials say If confirmed, a mass shooting of dozens of captives would mark a grim new low point in Afghanistan's recent violence. Women's Rights 2020-09-24 Literacy classes in Herat help open doors of opportunity for thousands of women The programme enables those who were deprived of school a chance to learn how to read and write. Diplomacy 2020-09-23 Taliban fighters freed in prisoner exchange have returned to battlefield, says Abdullah If true, this development represents a serious violation of the agreement with the government, and increases doubts about whether the Taliban will live up to its commitments in the long-run. Security 2020-09-23 Photo exhibition in Herat honors sacrifices of fallen soldiers Security forces say they remain prepared to put their lives on the line to defend Afghans from terrorism and militancy. Do you believe the Taliban are sincerely seeking peace with the Afghan government? - Yes, they know it is time to end the war - No, they are only seeking power - Maybe - I don't know View Results Spotlight Taliban execute 28 surrendered police officers in Uruzgan, officials say If confirmed, a mass shooting of dozens of captives would mark a grim new low point in Afghanistan's recent violence. Security 2020-09-22 Afghan forces 'ready to defend' against militant attacks on city centers Militants have failed to hold any of Afghanistan's major cities or provincial capitals after almost two decades of war, and Afghan forces are determined to keep it that way. Diplomacy 2020-09-21 Afghans urge Taliban, government to take advantage of historic opportunity Afghans from across the country gathered to urge both sides to declare a ceasefire and work at hammering out a peace deal that would end the long-standing conflict. Health 2020-09-21 Chinese government lab leak raises questions about COVID-19 Revelations about a confirmed leak from a state-run lab have opened up questions again about the origins of the coronavirus pandemic and China's commitment to safety and transparency. Connect with Us: Subscribe to the Salaam Times newsletter Subscribe We send updates twice a week with the latest news and features Security 2020-09-18 Nangarhar women rally for ceasefire amid deadly attacks on security forces The gathering in Jalalabad came a day before fierce fighting between Afghan forces and the Taliban that claimed the lives of at least 11 security personnel in the province. Health 2020-09-18 Chinese, Russian hackers intensify intelligence war over COVID-19 vaccine research Chinese and Russian hackers have spared no effort in an attempt to steal vaccine development data from universities and research institutes in the United States, Canada and Britain. Security 2020-09-17 Children of war victims in Kunduz plead for end to violence as peace talks continue Attacks by militants on security forces in the region have intensified even as intra-Afghan negotiations are under way. Diplomacy 2020-09-17 Pakistan reiterates support for Afghanistan's path to peace, development Afghan and US officials praised Pakistan's role in facilitating the peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban under way in Doha. Diplomacy 2020-09-16 Afghans urge Taliban, government to remain flexible in their demands for peace The preservation of women's rights and the cessation of violence remain crucial red lines, Afghan government negotiators say. Women's Rights 2020-09-15 Afghan women rally to preserve achievements as peace talks begin More than 15,000 women in 15 provinces have signed a letter addressed to the United Nations saying they want to be part of the peace process and are determined defend their rights. Diplomacy 2020-09-14 Afghan government, allies pressure Taliban for truce as peace talks start The talks should continue in the 'spirit of moving towards peace', said High Council for National Reconciliation Chairman Abdullah Abdullah. Economy 2020-09-14 Tehran's dumping policies force 8 Herat factories to close The Iranian regime is flooding Afghanistan with cheap, low -quality goods to force factories to close. Security 2020-09-11 Afghan negotiators arrive in Doha for historic peace talks The Afghan government and the Taliban planned to launch peach talks September 12, after months of delays and setbacks. Economy 2020-09-11 Development projects in Takhar improve access to public services Local residents expect an increase in such programmes if the Afghan government and the Taliban reach a peace deal. Security 2020-09-10 Herat, Ghor residents call for ceasefire as direct peace talks approach Civilians hold out hope for a durable peace, once talks start. Health 2020-09-10 Weak COVID-19 responses undermining strongman regimes Disregard for citizens' well-being and incompetence have shaken whatever trust citizens had in their leaders in countries such as China, Russia and Iran, analysts say. Economy 2020-09-09 Ceasefire, peace talks poised to increase development projects in Kunduz International donors and development organisations have pledged to accelerate projects in Kunduz Province if intra-Afghan peace talks are successful, local officials say. Security 2020-09-09 'Enemies of peace' target VP Saleh in Kabul bombing First Vice President Amrullah Saleh sustained minor injuries in the blast, which killed at least 10 civilians and wounded 15 people. Diplomacy 2020-09-08 Intra-Afghan peace talks to begin in 'next few days' A date for the talks, to be hosted in Doha, Qatar, has not been set, but both sides this week have signalled that negotiations could launch soon. Crime Justice 2020-09-08 Herat officials eye major benefits of new Security Compact programme The programme seeks to enhance co-operation between locals and security personnel to halt crime and insecurity. Economy 2020-09-07 Alternative livelihood projects aim to prevent jobless Afghans from turning to poppy fields Crushed by the coronavirus lockdown and job losses, some Afghans are harvesting opium for quick cash -- but the Afghan government has a plan in place to provide alternative sources of income. Media 2020-09-07 China brags of normality as world continues to reel from pandemic While the rest of the world suffers under lockdowns due to COVID-19, Beijing appears intent on making the country appear to have moved on. See what Chinese state media is doing. Environment 2020-09-04 Iran's deep wells illegally siphon water from three Afghan rivers Iran has been stealing thousands of cubic metres of water daily in excess of the Afghan-Iranian Helmand River Water Treaty through the use of illegal wells, officials say. Security 2020-09-03 Afghan government frees remaining Taliban prisoners as peace talks approach The government-backed negotiating team was set to head to Doha on Wednesday. Security 2020-09-03 Herat residents praise Afghan forces for preventing ISIS attacks during Ashura Security personnel detected and neutralised four bombs hidden near locations of religious ceremonies in Herat city.